Volkswagon powers car freighters with used vegetable oil

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Volkswagen plans to use vegetable oil residue from the food industry to power car freighters, in a bid to help limit some of the environmental damage caused by shipping.

The first car freighter was re-fuelled for the first time with vegetable oil residue in November and a second ship is due to follow at the beginning of 2021.

Volkswagen Group Logistics continuously charters two vessels which carry up to 3,500 vehicles on a route from Emden via Dublin (Ireland), Santander (Spain), and Setubal (Portugal) back to Emden 50 times per year. In the course of their journeys, they carry about 250,000 new vehicles of the AUDI, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands every year.

The two ships, which are both 180 meters long, are each powered by an MAN marine diesel with more than 19,000 PS (14,220 kW). In future, the two ships are to be refuelled at sea off the coast of Vlissingen (Netherlands), with alternative fuel supplied by the Dutch company GoodFuels.

Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics, said: “We are the first automaker to make widespread use of this fuel. This way, we reuse waste oil in an environmentally compatible way. With 85% lower CO2 emissions than with conventional fossil fuels, the contribution to climate protection is enormous.”

He added: “This way, Volkswagen Group Logistics is helping the group achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050.”

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